California’s Odd Desire to Suffocate the ‘Gig Economy’, by Gerard Scimeca

California is trying to kill the gig economy of which it is arguably the birthplace. From Gerard Scimeca at realclearmarkets.com:

If our current economy were a swimmer paddling furiously against a surging tide, then California is determined to hand it an anchor. Millions of Americans who work to make ends meet through freelance work in the ‘gig’ economy were recently handed virtual pink slips through AB5, legislation signed into law last year by Governor Gavin Newsome forcing independent contractors to be treated as employees.

With other states now looking to follow suit, it’s time Congress address this atrocious assault on worker freedoms and economic innovation by enacting federal standards on independent contract work. It would be a shallow victory for our economy to rebound from Covid only to have workers tossed out of their freelance jobs by clueless politicians seeking to “protect” their rights.

It should surprise no one that AB5 set in motion a massive economic wrecking ball that already has rideshare giants Uber and Lyft packing their bags to leave the state. Requiring contract workers to be treated as full-fledged employees in California or any state will of course make dozens of similar gig platforms unprofitable, in effect deleting apps right off our phones. A court’s temporary pause of AB5 last week is now holding worker jobs by a thread, causing Uber and Lyft to temporarily suspend plans to leave the state. If the ruling doesn’t hold, over 200,000 freelance workers will be driven out of work and millions of consumers will be left on the side of the road.

It is startling that in today’s modern economy California would even attempt such a clampdown. The one-size-fits-all model of employee-employer relationship is a relic of the distant past. More than a third of the U.S. workforce is currently employed as either full or part-time freelancers. This is no longer an employment niche but a pillar of our current economy. Freelancers earn good money, often sizably more than their employee counterparts. And despite the complaints of some interventionist lawmakers, workers themselves are quite content with the freedom their work offers. In one recent survey, 71 percent claimed increased work opportunities over the previous year.

Continue reading→

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.